There's the perennial conflict between the Apollonian and Dionysian tendencies in humans; to champion rational thinking and order; or to celebrate extravagance and disorder. We can even see how this might impact our communal interactions and expressions.
Take those potential sources of neighborhood discord: H.O.A. rules. Some neighborhoods might have specific rules as to how their houses might be colored, what kinds of lawns or plantings may or may not be planted, and so forth.
No, I'm not talking about restrictions regarding growing a crop of marijuana on the front lawn; I'm talking about a requirement that it be a grass lawn and not ground cover or sand.
[No! No Zen garden in your front lawn; not yours.]
Even apartment owners get into the act; with rules about how renters can decorate their rented abodes. Ow!
This is one of the reasons why people love Christmas decorations: It's a reaction against the everyday conventions that restrict us like a bra two sizes too small!
If you want a blue Santa moose, go for it, Baby! Likewise, outline the roof, windows, sides of the house, and even trees with colorful lights! Have some inflated figures; but keep in mind that they typically lose air overnight as it gets cooler. [Something the heavy lifters in physics can explain, I guess.] So maybe your Christmas Dog sporting a stiffie is not a good long-range plan. Plus the N.O.P.D. might get on your case!
Speaking of the N.O.P.D., if you're an Orleanian with a heavily decorated house and lawn that people consider a destination when it's time to take Maw-Maw to see the lights, it's good form to hire an off-duty N.O.P.D. officer to help direct traffic. And ply him with cocoa or coffee, laced or not.
Now there are some kill-joy H.O.A.s that have time restraints regarding how long seasonal decorations can remain in place. Old M. Raoul Bourgeois had his own opinion about those rules.
So he put up his Christmas light string as soon as Advent rolled around. All the joyous holiday colors of the Christmastime palette. The neighborhood was charmed.
After Jan. 1, before the time ran out on Epiphany, he switched many of the colored bulbs for red, white, and blue lights: all the better for celebrating Andy Jackson's victory at New Orleans (Jan. 8th).
Come late January, the lights were again switched. This time to a green, purple, and gold scheme. Mardi Gras Colors.
In March, the purple bulbs were replaced with orange ones and the gold ones with white while the green bulbs remained in place for St. Patrick's Day.
Come March 18, Raoul quickly replaced the orange bulbs with red ones for St. Joseph's Day. This color scheme also tided the Bourgeoises through Cinco de Mayo!
And so to red, white, and blue for Flag Day and the Fourth of July.
Naturally M. Bourgeois was going to a lot of extra trouble. But he couldn't help it; he found confounding the H.O.A. to be very reinforcing. Plus it was good exercise.
As did a small following of his irreverent neighbors.
So there's more than one was to skin a H.O.A. cat.
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